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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, October 2013
WEB Exclusive story

Construction at the Savannah River site began in July 1950, eventually employing a construction force numbering more than 38,000. The amount of steel used was equal to a train 38 miles long.
Archive photo courtesy of Savannah River Site/DOE

Fluor Corporation announced Sept. 17 that the Project Management Institute (PMI) selected Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS), a Fluor-led partnership and Department of Energy (DOE) contractor, as one of three finalists for PMI’s International Project of the Year award. Fluor-led SRNS was nominated for $1.4 billion in work completed under Savannah River Site’s (SRS) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) cleanup from April 2009 through December 2012, one of the largest scopes of work authorized under ARRA. The ARRA mission required that the project accelerate the reduction of the DOE’s site liability, which included reducing the legacy waste at the site while simultaneously creating jobs and stimulating the struggling economy. SRNS’s cleanup effort’s major accomplishments included the following:

  • Bringing 85 percent of the site’s total 310 square miles up to footprint reduction cleanup standards, thereby exceeding the baseline goal of 75 percent;
  • Remediating the site’s legacy inventory of 5,000 cubic meters of transuranic radioactive waste; and
  • Creating or retaining more than 4,600 local jobs.

“Nearly eight years of work were successfully compressed into a 45-month period of performance as part of this tremendous undertaking,” said Bruce Stanski, president of Fluor’s Government Group. “We’re proud of the positive impact that this project has had on the site, the local region and the national economy, and congratulate the entire team for a job well done.”

The PMI 2013 Project of the Year award will be presented at the PMI Global Congress in New Orleans, La. later this year.

Wondering what the oil and gas comeback means for Texas? A report issued this week by the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (bookmark it!) tells us exactly what it means, complete with multiple dollar signs.

Canada’s wind energy industry is well positioned to build on its rapid growth to date and strong prospects for the next few years as provincial governments in all of Canada’s major wind energy markets work to define the policy framework that will inform new electricity supply choices for the next decade. This was the consensus reached among participants on the Industry Leaders Panel at today's plenary session – Wind Energy across Canada.

While wind energy will see strong and steady growth through 2016 across Canada, the country’s four largest wind energy markets (BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec) all have long-term planning processes underway that will determine how future wind energy development unfolds after 2016. But industry leaders at a panel during the annual conference of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) this week concluded that the industry is well positioned.


Wind Energy Industry Leaders Panel at plenary session during CanWEA’s 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Toronto.

Staying up north, an Alaska Dispatch article from the Eye on the Arctic news-sharing service notes that Finnish wind power firm Lumituuli Oy is eyeing islands off the Helsinki waterfront for new wind farms. The customer-owned company plans to complete installation of an Enercon wind turbine in Northern Finland later this year.

The Nuclear Energy Institute has signaled its approval of a new commercial nuclear trade agreement between the US and the Republic of Vietnam that it says could lead to between $10 billion and $20 billion in US nuclear exports. The agreement still requires both White House and congressional approval.


The largest and most powerful test bench in the wind turbine industry has started operation at Vestas’ global testing center in Aarhus, Denmark. The 20-MW test bench (pictured) is capable of testing the full nacelle of the V164-8.0 MW, validating the performance, robustness and reliability of the turbine over a simulated 25-year lifetime.

The test bench is 42 meters long and 9 meters wide. The total weight of the test bench, including the motors, wind simulator and generators is nearly 700 tonnes. Vestas installed fifty meter deep concrete foundations to support the weight. Motors powering the bench produce 20 MW. The enormous test bench will stress the drivetrain, including the gearbox, main shaft and generator of the V164-8.0 MW, reproducing the harsh wind conditions in the North Sea, using a comprehensive and rigorous test regime based on experience and data gathered from over 25,000 turbines, says Vestas.

The Economist offers its patented perspective on how solar for the poor needs financing solutions that are as gee-whiz as the technology.


Trammell Crow Company (TCC), in joint venture with Principal Real Estate Investors, announced in late September the completion and opening of Noble Energy Center One, a 497,000-sq.-ft. office building located at 1001 Noble Energy Way in Houston’s Northwest office submarket. In addition, the JV has broken ground on Noble Energy Center Two, a 20-story, 470,000-sq.-ft. build-to-suit office building located on an adjacent 4.7-acre site. Both buildings serve as global headquarters for Noble Energy, a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. Noble Energy Center Two is scheduled to be complete by mid-2015.

The Noble Energy Center Two development team is being led by Aaron Thielhorn, Brandon Houston, and Brian Attaway with Trammell Crow Company and also includes Austin Commercial as the general contractor and Kirksey as the project architect. JP Morgan and US Bank provided construction financing for the project.

The Noble Energy Center campus is located at the corner of State Highway 249 and Louetta, adjacent to The Vintage, a master-planned mixed-use community that features 537,000 square feet of retail/office space, over 1,600 upscale residences, two apartment communities, a 123-room hotel, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, and a St. Luke’s regional hospital.

The City of San Francisco in 2002 set a goal going beyond the Kyoto Protocol: To reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. To help residents, businesses and government agencies adopt solar technologies, it streamlined the solar permitting process and gave planning priority to businesses that meet high-level green building (LEED gold or above) standards. And one of the tools it developed to track progress is the San Francisco Energy Map.

Did they reach their goal? Almost. An August press release from Mayor Edwin Lee reported that San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions are down 14.5 percent from 1990 levels.


Husky is continuing to evaluate projects to optimize, integrate and reconfigure the Lima, Ohio Refinery and is planning to reposition the BP-Husky Toledo, Ohio Refinery to accommodate production from its Sunrise oilsands project in Alberta as its primary feedstock. It is also expanding terminalling and product storage opportunities.
Photo courtesy of Husky

Calgary-based Husky Energy continues to evaluate a potential $300-million investment at its 127-year-old refinery in Lima, Ohio, in order to give it the flexibility to handle both heavy and light crude oil. According to a recent story in the Lima News, the refinery employs 440 and employs the services of approximately 200 contractors. Ohio EPA took public comments through Oct. 7 on its draft air permit for equipment changes at the refinery, which Husky bought from Valero in 2007 for $1.9 billion.

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The Site Selection Energy Report features exclusive and in-depth reporting and analysis on the most important energy projects and energy policy issues impacting the world of manufacturing and industrial real estate. Topics covered include oil and gas projects, investments into alternative energy installations and R&D, tax credits and financing, electric utility issues and much more.

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